One of the regular tasks a forest operations supervisor will need to do is keep an eye on progress of their operations. As well as needing to update progress to assist in planning, this is often critical for contractor or forest manager invoicing and payments on a monthly basis. Using ATLAS GeoMaster as your operations planning tool and not just as a post event record will help keep accurate and timely reporting and often replace duplication in paper systems or spreadsheets across your team.  This is especially the case when staff can access GeoMaster and ArcGIS through the cloud from any internet connected tablet or computer, at home, work or in the field.  Here are three ways you can do this in GeoMaster.

Just add a quick update manually to an event

Sometimes all you need to do is add a quick 50% complete to the operation, for example thinning of that stand is 50% complete. This is simple: just open up the current event, click on the progress tab, add an activity date (date of this progress update) select “set all patches to 50%” and select save. All the patch areas in the event will be updated to 50% complete as shown in figure 1. You can of course update individual patches with area or % complete if known.


081913_2317_monitoringf1Figure 1 – Updating a forest operation that started on 2 August 2013 to 50% complete (5.38ha) as of 20 August 2013

Quickly Sketch-up Area Completed to Date

If your progress mark-up is linked to contractor payments, then the measurement might need to more accurate than just a quick % update. Using the Sketch Area feature in the GeoMaster ArcGIS toolbar, you can quickly create a polygon/s (hold down shift to create multiple polygons) to describe the progress and get the area associated with that operation. Also this shows all area types (stocked, unstocked, non-productive). Therefore for this thinning operation it will exclude any “non-stocked” area so you are not paying for area that does not need to be treated. So even though the areas I have drawn are approx. around the stand edge (overlaps outside the stand), it clips this to the stocked area when accounting for stocked area calculation. You can then quickly update hectares done to date, and save. Note that the “polygons” themselves are not saved against this event, just the area (although you can select to save them).


081913_2317_monitoringf2Figure 2 – Using the quick Sketch Area tool from the GeoMaster toolbar to display area of an operation to update progress

Record the Exact Work in Progress Area Using GIS/GPS

If you’ve collected work in progress using a GPS, this can be imported into ArcGIS and using the GeoMaster feature to update work in progress using this resulting polygon, progress can be automatically updated. This has the benefit of also recording the exact area treated to date. Simply select this work in progress shape (multiple multi-part polygons can be selected) as shown in Figure 3. From the GeoMaster toolbar select Events>Record Work in Progress, select the current active event and you’re done (Figure 4 and 5).


081913_2317_monitoringf3Figure 3 – The polygon highlighted here is imported from a GPS.


081913_2317_monitoringf4Figure 4 – Using the GeoMaster menu, select to Record Event Work in Progress, a prompt is displayed to select active events.


081913_2317_monitoringf5Figure 5 – Once the event is selected this area appears in GeoMaster with the progress automatically populated.

Reporting on Operation Progress

Now that we have actively monitored operation progress, we can run a range of reports, depending on the need (cost and budget based or just progress summaries). Here is an example of running a report for all thinning events in progress during August 2013. Note we selected event state as being “In Progress”.   When recording event progress be aware that GeoMaster holds just the current and previous progress areas for an event. These are updated each time a new progress is supplied, so older progress records are not retained.


081913_2317_monitoringf6Figure 6 – Reporting on event progress (operations report or work program report).

Hope this helps those using GeoMaster as part of our Cloud Services for Forest Management. We have time and time again seen that actively using GeoMaster as your operation management tool will greatly reduce the manual systems and spreadsheets your forest management team will likely be using to monitor operations.